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“I’d like to picnic again”

Mahir Abu Goukh
200km | Although bus driver Kamal Osman Abdul Wahab is always on the road he seldom has time to take a break.
19.01.2016  |  Khartoum, Sudan
Kamal Osman Abdul Wahab driving his bus. (photo: The Niles | Mahir Abu Goukh)
Kamal Osman Abdul Wahab driving his bus. (photo: The Niles | Mahir Abu Goukh)

> Departure: route Al-Mazad-Khartoum, Sudan
> Arrival: -
> Distance: 200km per day


“I start work soon after dawn prayer and work about 12 hours until five in the evening. I drive the Al-Mazad - Khartoum route and complete about four or five rounds a day.

The route passes a number of city landmarks such as Moulid Square, where annual events are organised to celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.

It also passes the passport police offices at Bahri, the Blue Nile Bridge, which links the two cities of Khartoum and Khartoum Bahri, and the central Khartoum University complex.

Next comes the northern side of the Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Council of Ministers and the Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Agriculture ministries.

I’ve been driving a bus for 25 years and now have my own bus and do not work for others. I do not work on Fridays or during Eid al-Fitr or the Eid al-Adha holidays. I work Saturdays, but earn less than on the other working days.

Passengers these days prefer to remain silent whereas they used to chat about their experiences. These days people focus on asking me about a place they want to go to.

In the past, my work was more enjoyable but now it has become tiresome, boring, and repetitive.

My vehicle is an old model and its meter is not working. Therefore, I cannot estimate the distance I cover every day.

Working as a driver is rewarding because I own the vehicle, unlike other hired drivers who pay an agreed sum to the owner.

My job has a promising future. People can save enough money to start a family or even own a house.

Passengers do not want to travel on the river or on bigger buses. They like small buses as they travel everywhere.

But my work is hard. I have no time for fun and picnicking away from home.”

This article is part of:
On The Move: Experience is a solid walking stick
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